What Is Enterprise Information Management (EIM)?

Enterprise information management (EIM) refers to the optimization, storage, and processing of data created and used by an enterprise. Enterprise information management seeks to ensure that data, as a business asset, is managed securely through its lifecycle and is accessible to the appropriate business processes.

Key Takeaways

  • Enterprise information management (EIM) refers to the optimal use of data within an enterprise.
  • EIM promotes improved security, increased efficiency, improved data quality, and integration of data.
  • For some businesses, enterprise information management is a legal necessity as they are governed by laws stipulating how data is retained and deleted.
  • Some challenges to implementing enterprise information management strategies include changing corporate culture, gaining management buy-in, and transforming and transferring data.

Understanding Enterprise Information Management (EIM)

Enterprise information management (EIM), a relatively new information management discipline, is often used as a universal label for the processes, policies, and software solutions used to manage data across a large business through its daily operations. For small operations with one location, a filing cabinet with a lock may be all that's needed. But a more comprehensive and customizable system is usually needed for a large company with branches and business lines spanning borders with different regulatory regimes for privacy and data use.

In addition to being part of the corporate drive for efficiency, EIM is part of the legal compliance for many firms as business information has specific requirements for retention and deletion. By handling sensitive personal information as part of doing business, many financial firms have been early adopters of enterprise information management.

Special Considerations

Nations and economic zones like the European Union (EU) have become more active in their regulation of data in the digital age. New regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now require dedicated data protection officers (DPO) to set the retention periods and access rights within an organization for personal data. EIM has emerged as one possible compliance solution for these regulations.

Advantages and Disadvantages of EIM

As previously highlighted, enterprise information management seeks to increase efficiency, security, and the effectiveness of data use, as well as enhance transparency. EIM permits the integration of data across an enterprise, providing users with a unified view, promoting collaboration across the organization, improving data quality, and enabling the organization to respond to market demands.

However, EIM faces several challenges, including the diversity of file formats - different ways files are organized-, data stuck in legacy systems, and the general user experience. Companies must be able to overcome certain challenges when designing the framework for its EIM strategies, including organizational challenges (where they are right now versus where they want to be), what kind of support data professionals have from company executives, and how to deal with overall data management. Many large organizations have departments and functional units that operate in silos. Overcoming this barrier is a challenge in many ways, especially when introducing enterprise information management strategies. In most cases, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, companies should be willing to apply best practices to their approach.